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Black Box Shows Amtrak Train Traveling Over 100 MPH Before Fatal Crash

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On Tuesday evening - May 12 th - Amtrak’s Northeast Regional Train 188 derailed and crashed on a heavily used stretch of track in northeast Philadelphia. Although local and federal officials are still sifting through the wreckage and investigating the incident, preliminary reports show that at least 7 passengers have died and numerous more were injured.

In the days since Tuesday’s crash, officials from agencies like the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have been working hard to determine the cause of the accident. Based on an initial investigation and information from the black box data recorder, investigators have recently stated that the train was traveling over 100 mph before it approached the curve of track where it derailed. The speed limit for that curve is 50 mph.

Details and updates regarding the crash have been pouring through media sources as many try to make sense of the tragic crash. Below are a few key points about the crash we know so far:

  • 238 passengers and 5 crew members were on board at the time of the incident. Current reports show that at least 7 passengers have died and that over 140 were transported to local hospitals for evaluation and treatment.
  • The crash took place shortly after 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday evening on the Northeast Corridor - one of the country’s most widely traveled stretch of tracks.
  • As of Thursday morning, officials have reported that not all passengers listed on the Amtrak manifest have been accounted for.
  • Initial investigations suggest that speed (over twice the speed limit for the curve) may be the cause of the accident. Still, the NTSB is looking into why the train was traveling at that speed. Experts have speculated that human performance, track conditions, or mechanical malfunction (including faulty brakes) could be to blame.
  • Although investigators are waiting for all the facts before making any determinations about the incident, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has publicly called the accident an “absolute disastrous mess” and that the train’s engineer was “reckless” in his actions.

The Daspit Law Firm is hopeful that ongoing investigations will shed light onto what exactly caused this tragic crash. We know that victims and families deserve the right to know whether this accident could or should have been prevented, as well as the right to secure justice and compensation for their losses. Our legal team is available to answer any questions about train accidents and the personal injury or wrongful death claim process.

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